So you’ve gotten your vaccine. Congratulations! You’re probably tempted to immediately have large meetups with friends and family you haven’t seen in months, get out of the house as much as possible, and ditch that uncomfortable mask forever. But before switching back to the same behaviors from pre-COVID days, remember that we are still learning about COVID-19 and how the vaccines work in real world conditions. For you this means that while some things have changed, other aspects of our “new normal” remain the same.
Even after being vaccinated, you should continue practicing health and safety guidelines when in public or around people from multiple households, including social distancing and, yes, wearing those darn masks. While we are still learning about how vaccines impact the spread of COVID-19, think of them like an extra layer of armor against the virus – you are more protected, but not completely invincible. No one enjoys the all of the extra safety precautions that have been imposed during the pandemic. But the fastest way out is through, so it is imperative that we all continue doing what we can to slow and prevent the spread of the virus, including maintaining safety precautions after being vaccinated.
Recipients are not considered fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after receiving the full dosage – 2 weeks after your second shot for Pfizer and Moderna, or 2 weeks after your single shot for Johnson & Johnson.
Things you should continue to do:
– Take safety precautions like before, including wearing a mask, socially distancing, and avoiding crowds while in public, gathering with people from multiple households, visiting with those at increased risk.
– Avoid domestic and international travel.
– Follow safety guidance at work.
– Watch for COVID-19 symptoms
There are some new things you CAN do. While the vaccine isn’t a free-for-all pass to go back to how things were, you can make some changes that feel closer to “normal”. If you’ve been fully vaccinated, you can:
– Gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without masks.
– Gather indoors with unvaccinated people from 1 other household without masks, unless any of them have and increased risk, or are in contact with those who do.
– If you have been exposed to COVID-19 and do not have symptoms, you do not need to quarantine or get tested, unless you live in a group setting.
What we’re still learning:
While we know that the vaccines are effective in preventing COVID-19, we’re still learning about different applications in real life, like how effective they are against variants of the virus, how well it keeps people from spreading the disease, and how long the vaccine actually protects people. With these things in mind, please remember that keeping you and everyone around you safe is the top priority.
Information about COVID-19 and the vaccines are constantly evolving. To monitor updates and learn more about the vaccines, visit cdc.gov. To make an appointment visit myturn.ca.gov. You can also make appointments directly through some vaccination sites. To find vaccination sites near you, check out vaccinefinder.org.